Israel considers bill forcing mosques to lower volume

Israel's parliament has passed an initial reading of the bill.

8 March 2017 | 18:31

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 8 March 2017 | 18:31

This file photo taken on November 21, 2016 shows the minaret (R) of a mosque and the Dome of the Rock (background) in a Palestinian neighborhood of east Jerusalem's Old City. (AFP Photo)

JERUSALEM: Israel's parliament has passed an initial reading of a bill that would make mosques lower the volume of their call to prayer, amid protests by Arab lawmakers.

Arab-Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi tore up the proposal at the Knesset podium Wednesday. The bill still needs to pass several more hurdles.

Devout Muslims pray five times a day, starting around 5 a.m. In Israel, the call to prayer is often loud enough to wake up residents in Jewish neighborhoods near Muslim communities.

Supporters of the bill say it as a matter of quality of life. But Arab citizens of Israel see it as an affront.

Arabs make up one-fifth of the population; they enjoy full rights but face discrimination in some areas. Many identify politically and culturally with Palestinians.

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